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15 votes
Accepted

Is there really a perfect tense?

Tense vs. aspect vs. mood Let's first clarify what the different categories mean in the first place: Tense is a category that locates events on a timeline. Distinctions between different tenses are ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
10 votes

When did Spanish develop perfect aspect?

I think this question is confused Latin did have a perfect aspect, it was only available in the present, past, and future tenses (these verb forms are usually described as the perfect, pluperfect, ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 8,809
9 votes

Is vav-consecutive unique to Hebrew?

As has been mentioned in the comments, forms corresponding to Biblical Hebrew wəqāṭaltí and wayyiqṭol exist in related languages. But these reflect a shared ancestor, or perhaps language contact, and ...
Keelan's user avatar
  • 4,221
8 votes

Where did the use of the two auxiliaries in the Romance languages come from?

What we know is that the have perfect is a Sprachbund feature of Standard Average European. Where it originated is less clear. Because Romance languages are better documented in the late antiquity and ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

History of "have", "avoir", "haben", etc. as auxiliary

Areal features develop when languages from different groups or branches are in contact with each other. There are a few main mechanisms - common substrate, common superstrate, parallel development. ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Present perfect tense vs simple past

What the site is trying to explain is that both German and English have a simple past tense and a perfect tense and that in the not too distant past, they may have been used similarly. In spoken ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
4 votes

The verb to have in relation to the past

This is a feature of Standard Average European (SAE), a Sprachbund across much of Europe. We know it's not an Indo-European genetic feature, since it's not generally found in Indo-European languages ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
4 votes

The verb to have in relation to the past

The periphrastic 'have'-perfect isn't a feature common to the Indo-European languages, but rather one that's part of the Standard Average European Sprachbund, which developed as the various European ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
  • 2,213
4 votes

When did Spanish develop perfect aspect?

Latin did in fact have a perfective aspect! (I'm going to use the term "perfective" for the aspect here, because "perfect" has a different meaning in traditional Latin grammar, but "perfective aspect" ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
4 votes

How verb tenses evolve

English and French pluperfect constructions are not descended from a common ancestor The English pluperfect tense (along with all the other composite tenses made with "have") is not what is called "...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
3 votes

Where did the use of the two auxiliaries in the Romance languages come from?

It actually came form Late Latin (e.g., probatum habeo). It's a natural process, a similar construction with "to have" has developed, for example, in Northwest Russian which is very interesting ...
Atamiri's user avatar
  • 2,590
3 votes

Relationship between possession ("to have") and tenses ("I have seen")

I'm not a linguist, but I am a Chinese native speaker. The "have-perfect tense" in European languages is due to the European sprachbund, as described in other answers here and in Is it ...
Aqualone's user avatar
  • 717
2 votes

What is the name for this phenomenon, and what are some other examples of it?

I'm especially interested in cases where one of the senses is more of a grammatical/function word than a content word. Recent studies of this phenomenon in Chinese use the term “coverb”: Kwan (2011) ...
earlyinthemorning's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Periphrastic verb forms in Gothic

Michail Kotin - it's worth checking out his monograph Gotisch Im (diachronischen und typologischen) Vergleich (Kotin 2012) - argues that "Gothic does not have the construction with have and past ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
  • 8,744
1 vote

Where did the use of the two auxiliaries in the Romance languages come from?

Through the process of grammaticalization. It is very common among various languages that the means of expressing perfectivity develops via those of expressing possession. ("Sum" in Latin used to have ...
Aharon M. Vertmont 's user avatar
1 vote

What languages have a Perfect Imperative and what is the meaning of such a tense-mood combination?

I think you already understand it quite well. The perfect aspect of the perfect imperative emphasizes having something done and over with. It is never strictly necessary, more of an extra resource. ...
Jacob's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
Accepted

What languages have a Perfect Imperative and what is the meaning of such a tense-mood combination?

I understand the overall meaning of your question as relations between forms and semantics of imperative and various forms of past tense. In Sanscrit (another ancient language), the Imperative did ...
Manjusri's user avatar
  • 2,781
1 vote

Does the Perfect in addition to its perfect meaning also denotes perfective / imperfective / either meaning (in English and Spanish)?

Since I have practically no knowledge of Spanish, I can answer only the English part. First of all, the English Perfect is not an aspect. The two English aspects are Continuous (progressive) and Non-...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
1 vote

How did the same perfect-tense structure become so widespread in Europe?

The Russian constructions literally mean "At me house" and 'At me all done' respectively. Since there is no 'have' verb used here, we cannot talk about parallels between these sentences and the have-...
Nekanda's user avatar
  • 11

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